COLUMBUS, Ohio --The Ohio State spirit program enjoyed another stellar all-around performance earlier this month at the 2017 UCA/UDA College Cheerleading and Dance National Championships in Orlando, Fla., with all four areas finishing in the top 10 of their respected events.
The 20-member dance team, led by head coach Melissa McGhee, led the way with second-place finishes in both the Pom and Jazz routines -- the highest finishes in program history -- just behind Minnesota in both categories.
"I was so proud of our team, not only because of their great performance at nationals, but also for all the hard work and sacrifices they made," McGhee said. "A lot of credit also goes to our seniors who provided valuable leadership all season. This year was a great step forward for the program to push for a national championship in the years to come."
In the mascot competition, Brutus Buckeye placed third overall of the 10 mascots advancing to the final round of competition.
The cheerleaders recorded yet another top 10 finish of the 23 schools in the finals. Led by head coach Ben Schreiber, the 16-member squad performed admirably in one of the more difficult and challenging routines by the Buckeyes in recent memory.
"We had a very young team this year with 14 underclassmen competing on the nationals team," Schreiber said. "Our finals routine was not our best showing of the year, but we are excited with the continued growth of our team and overall program.
"Our team grew from the beginning of the season as we were able to compete hand-in-hand for the first time in school history along with adding a flipping stunt during the second half of our routine. We are looking forward to the offseason to continue to develop skills to be used in 2018 and beyond."
In the partner stunt competition, Carter Marsch and Lexi Schillig, the first Ohio State couple to make the finals in 10 years, recorded a top 10 finish as well. The couple initially qualified for the competition in November by ways of a video submission and were judged by level of difficulty, execution, athleticism and technique.
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